February 11, 2009

Liquor execs dump bourbon in protest

In the tradition of the Boston Tea Party, liquor industry executives dumped bourbon on the Kentucky state capitol steps to protest taxes.

The Tuesday rally, which drew about 400 liquor industry workers and executives, was to make a 160-proof point about their opposition to a state House committee's approval of a 6 percent tax on alcoholic beverages in stores, WLKY-TV in Louisville, Ky., reported Wednesday. The measure faces votes in the full House and Senate.

If this tax is left to stand, if you can believe it, Kentucky bourbon will be taxed more in Kentucky than any other state in the country and that's pretty ridiculous, said Bill Samuels, president and chief executive of Maker's Mark.

Kentucky's current liquor taxes include an 11 percent wholesale tax on packaged liquor, a 6 percent tax on drinks purchased in bars and restaurants, an 8-cent-per-gallon tax on beer, a 50-cent-per-gallon tax on wine and a $1.92 per-gallon tax on distilled spirits.